NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


What’s the Stanford-Binet Vocabulary test?

Many NYC parents confused about the vocabulary section of the Stanford-Binet

For vocabulary items on the Stanford-Binet test, children are first asked to say the names of pictures they are shown. These are the types of questions asked of a child when applying for Hunter College Elementary Gifted Program in NYC.  In these vocabulary questions the pictures are of items that would be familiar to a child of the age being tested.  Then, children are asked to define words that children that the psychologist reads aloud.  These are words that young children should know by the time they are tested. Keep in mind, this test is only given in English.  The test proctor starts with simple words like “banana,” “toy,” “dog”) and become increasingly more difficult and abstract with words like “fear”, “calm”. If your child misses five questions in a row, the tester moves on to the next subtest. Otherwise, your child will continually be asked questions with more and more difficulty.

Younger children are asked to name a picture they are shown.  You can see an example of this on the right side of the page.  “What is this?”  “A bicycle” or “bike” would be the right answer.

Stanford-Binet practice question: Parent ask, “What is this?”

Children are then asked to define words.  “Tell me in words, what does ‘antique’ mean?”  Your child will be given additional credit if he or she gives a more elaborate and sophisticated response.  For example, if your daughter answers this question with “old,” she might get 1 point.  If she answers it with, “Antique is a very old piece of furniture, like those from the colonial era,” she would get 2 points.  If your son gives a limited response to this type of question, the psychologist will encourage him to say more.  You should do the same while practicing for the Stanford-Binet test and every day conversation.  “What other items are antiques?”  “Have you ever seen an antique? Tell me about it?”


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